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Grande Ballroom repair campaign makes final month push

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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With a month remaining for a crowdfunding campaign, the drive to repair the roof of Detroit's landmark Grande Ballroom site is continuing in earnest.

With nearly $4,300 raised so far, organizers are approaching the 25 percent mark on their GoFundMe goal of $20,000. The money will be used to fix holes in the site at 8952 Grand River Ave. and make other repairs to stabilize the building, currently owned by the Chapel Hill Missionary Baptist Church. The Friends of the Grande (F.O.G.) launched a successful GoFundMe campaign during 2017 to cover some operating costs and finance an assessment of the condition of the building, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places last year.

The current campaign will shore up failing parts of the structure, including a staircase the study says could collapse, and bring down the northeast corner of the building, if it continues to be exposed to rain and snow. The campaign won't allow for what the F.O.G. calls "a complete solution" but will be "a milestone start, potentially kicking off a series of fundraisers and other funding opportunities."

The Grande was opened in 1928 and became a dance hall during 1928 before the late Russ Gibb acquired it in 1966 and turned it into a concert venue that hosted performances by Cream, Led Zeppelin, the Who, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Sun Ra and many more, as well as local favorites such as the MC5, which recorded its "Kick Out the Jams" debut album at the Grande, and the Stooges.

The campaign includes a number of perks, including DVD copies of filmmaker Tony D'Annunzio's "Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story" documentary, limited edition Grande Ballroom blueprints and copies of John Sinclair's "Mobile Homeland" album on CD.

Details on the Grande campaign can be found at gofundme.com/f/savethegrande.

Web Site: www.gofundme.com/f/savethegrande

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